Gamma-Ray Bursts Limit Life in Universe | The Institute for Creation Research

Gamma-Ray Bursts Limit Life in Universe

What are the odds that life somehow self-generated? Many experiments have shown that the likelihood of just the right chemicals combining by chance in just the right proportions, orientations, and sequences to form even the simplest cell on Earth is so close to zero that some origin-of-life researchers have punted the possibility to some distant unknown planet.1 But a new study of gamma-ray burst frequency estimates has eliminated the possibility of life on other planets.

Astronomers have witnessed gamma-ray bursts (GRBs)—lasting from just fractions of a millisecond to several minutes—as the brightest explosions in the universe. The blasts' lethal energy output shreds any nearby biological molecules, whether in a functioning organism or somewhere in a planet's environment.

Two astronomers, Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Tsvi Piran and University of Barcelona's Raul Jimenez, found that GRBs should have repeatedly sterilized most places in the universe, every so often annihilating any chemical concoction that may have been headed toward life. The new report appears in the online repository arXiv.org.2

Not that chemicals ever could or would build toward life anywhere anyhow. As physicist Jake Hebert recently wrote, “While the laws of physics and chemistry in our universe do indeed allow life to exist, they do not allow life to evolve. The laws of physics and chemistry simply are not favorable to the evolution of life.”3

Adding to natural laws that already prevent life from evolving from chemicals—for example by reacting with oxygen, interacting with water, or intersecting with the same radiation on which life through photosynthesis depends—GRBs now also stand firmly in evolution's way.4

Assuming evolutionary time, Piran and Jimenez calculated a fifty percent chance that a life-ending GRB should have blasted Earth in the last 500 million years, and a greater than ninety percent chance of a deadly zap in the last 5 billion years. They wrote,

Using also the latest determinations of metallicity [i.e., high levels of elements other than hydrogen and helium] of stars in the Milky Way and those of LGRB [Long Gamma Ray Burst] hosts, we concluded that the likelihood of a GRB producing life extinction on Earth is high. Taking the same lethal dose for extraterrestrial life as for life on Earth we have found that GRBs and in particular LGRBs are life threatening in a large part of the Milky Way as well as in many other locations in the Universe.2

In other words, not only should gamma-ray bursts have exterminated virtually all hope of life elsewhere in the universe, but—assuming evolutionary time—these bursts should have also exterminated life on Earth.

Yet here we live. The expected lethal GRBs did not happen. This odd dilemma is no problem for biblical creation, which does not carry the twin burdens of billions of years and the spontaneous generation of life.

References

  1. See citations in articles at: Only God Could Have Made Cells. Institute for Creation Research.
  2. Piran, T., and R. Jimenez. On the role of GRBs on life extinction in the Universe. Cornell University Library. arXiv.org. Submitted September 8, 2014 accessed October 21, 2014.
  3. Hebert, J. 2012. A Universe from Nothing? Acts & Facts. 41(7): 11-13.
  4. Thomas, B. The Incredible Hulk Theory of Life in Space. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org August 19, 2009 accessed October 21, 2014.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAO

*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on October 27, 2014.

The Latest
NEWS
Microraptor Ate Mammals But Was Not a Dinosaur
The recent claim of a nearly half-inch mammal foot in the stomach of a ‘dinosaur’ is tainted by evolutionary dogma.1 The fossil...

NEWS
Dr. John Morris Is at Home with His Lord
Dr. John Morris passed peacefully away on January 29, 2023. He was deeply respected and dearly loved by family, friends, and colleagues. Fondly known...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Scripture Memory & Archaeological Evidence | Creation.Live Podcast:...
"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11 NKJV). Scripture memory was important thousands of years...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Continues to Challenge Big Bang
Data obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continue to challenge expectations of Big Bang proponents.1,2 The JWST is designed...

CREATION PODCAST
The Truth About the Chimp Genome (Humans & Chimps: Part 2) |...
Have scientists proven human evolution from a "common apelike ancestor," or are we being told a clever, confusing story filled with farcical...

NEWS
World's Oldest Meal
The Ediacara biota is a sporadic faunal (animal) stage containing unique soft-bodied fossil creatures in sandstone from the Ediacaran System dating...

NEWS
No Microbes on Mars
Mars is a lifeless world. But those holding to a naturalistic worldview continue to have hope—even faith—that the Red Planet was at...

NEWS
Flood Explains Grouping of Ichthyosaurs
The discovery of dozens of ichthyosaur fossils in Nevada was announced in the journal Current Biology.1 Seven 50-foot long ichthyosaurs of...

NEWS
Frog Stripe Evolution?
Color patterns in animals, whether vertebrates or invertebrates, are designed by the Creator for camouflage, warning, courtship, or, simply, for the...

CREATION PODCAST
They Lied to Us? (Humans & Chimps: Part 1) | The Creation Podcast:...
Back in the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin promoted the supposed similarity between humans and chimpanzees. Later DNA studies seemed to support...